Can I Have My False Pleasantries Back?

German facial expression of the day: Staring.

Stare

Oddity 34. You know you are in Germany when you regularly find yourself being stared at for no clearly discernible reason. I don’t know if Germans necessarily like to stare but they sure do it a lot.  A nice term a friend of mine prefers using is “unfiltered curiosity” but it’s staring all the same.

But it’s a wonderful trait: Firstly, you know the person is listening intently (they really are); secondly, since it’s very difficult to look someone in the eyes and speak coherently and come up with pleasant little white lies, the false pleasantries vanish and the conversation becomes honest and true – leading toward a final deep dive into the other’s soul.

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One response

  1. LOL…yeah, it almost became a little too honest and true for my husband at our first encounter; I got a bit belligerent.
    “Who are you, and why have you been staring at me all night?”
    He didn’t step up and introduce himself you see, and flyover American women can get a bit edgy when there’s a stranger staring at them without talking.
    Then again…it did create the opportunity for conversation without him having to do the initial icebreaker…so a sly and clever gambit perhaps (the resulting conversation was a bit disorienting too — it went direct real quick, no small talk indeed, which meant no time for sidestepping out of it). Perhaps the Teutons are more wise in the ways of amour than they let on…

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